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Steeler Hitman

2020 Week #11 GDT Steelers @ Jaguars

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2020 Week #11 GDT 9-0 Steelers @ 1-8 Jaguars 

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Series History: The Jaguars lead the all time series 14-12 (12-12 regular season), but the Jaguars are 2-0 in the play-offs against the Steelers. Steelers have won 4 of 5 regular season games. I am still reeling at the Jaguars breaking our hearts and hopes in 2017 with a dominant 45-42 win that sent the organization into a bit of a two year tailspin. The Jaguars have always played to match the physicality, intimidation, and toughness of the Steelers. These are old AFC Central Foes.

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Last Meeting at 11/28/18 in which the Jaguars held the Steelers offense in check for three and a half quarters and taking a 16-0 lead before Big Ben led a come from behind victory scoring the final 20 points for a 20-16 win and much needed redemption from taunts of the numerous turnovers that he committed against the physical and opportunistic Jaguars defense. 

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Of note: These games are historically very physical and close. The Jaguars have been a pain in the Steelers side since their expansion season game in 1995 upsetting the Steelers 20-16. They would like nothing more than to hand the undefeated 9-0 Steelers their first loss. 

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TJ Watt and the Steelers defense need to relentlessly attack the Jaguars QB and slow their rushing attack.

Key Jaguars Offensive players:WR DJ Chark, LT Cam Robinson, QB Jake Luton, Gardner Minshew, RB James Robinson, WR Laviska Shenault, WR Keelan Cole, former Bengal TE Tyler Eifert and my favorite TE  O' Shaq Hennessy (aka James O'Shaughnessy)

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Ba-lakee! "Get your butt to principal O'Shaq Hennessy's office now!"

Defensive Keys to stopping the Jaguars

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1. Stop rookie RB James Robinson. Without some key players, the Steelers run defense has looked mortal again. The Bengals ripped off a few nice gains in the rushing attack. Stopping Robinson early would go along way in derailing the Jaguars attack. They will look to use the same formula as Dallas, Baltimore and Titans second half to keep the Steelers offense off the field by playing good offense themselves. They would love to run the ball down the Steelers throats. Robinson ripped off 109 yards versus the Packers and helped Jacksonville nearly upset the Packers at Lambeau Field. Robinson is averaging 4.5 yards a carry. 

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2. Stop the Chark attack! The Jaguars will look to get the ball to their best WR.  Chark has 37 catches and 4 TD's. They also have former Chief Chris Conley.  Both of these WR's are tall over 6'3" and can present some match-up problems. The Steelers defense is typically good for one big passing play per game. They need to fix that. A big pass play led to the Bengals only TD driving 90 yards for the score. Sound play at the back-end is needed. Joe Haden, Steve Nelson and Cam Sutton all played strong games against the Joe Burrow led Bengals.

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3. Get after the QB! The Steelers defense has sacked opposing QB's in 66 straight games. No reason to want to end that here with Luton or Minshew at QB. Pressure disrupts the timing and rhythm of routes and the pass offense. Get after the QB and welcome them to the Steelers brand of football. Stop the run early and force the Jaguars to have to throw in predictable situations. 

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4. Bring the pain! Jacksonville will try to go blow for blow with the Steelers slugging. These are physical minded and tough teams. This has to be the best 1-8 I have seen. They could have easily won several other games if not for a few plays in each. The Steelers must put forth an A effort from whistle to whistle against this team. History has shown, if you under-estimate them, they will beat you, dash your dreams, and send you back home disappointed wondering, "what if?" Get after their offense early and often.

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Keelan Cole had a big game against the Packers. He scored on a PR and a TD pass reception.

Special Teams:

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Ray Ray McCloud nearly breaks another punt return for a TD. McCloud has been a pleasant surprise taking over on punts for Dionte Johnson.

Jaguars Specialist: K Josh Lambo, P Logan Cole, PR Keelan Cole and KOR Dede Westbrook

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The games between the Steelers and Jaguars are typically hard fought, physical and closely contested. The steelers must continue to improve in their special teams play. Keenan Cole ripped off a 90 yard PR against the Packers for a TD. The Steelers special teams have had some ups and downs over the past two weeks. No secrets here, just play consistently and be smart. Learn from what the Cowboys and Bengals did to try to get an advantage or get in the endzone against our tough defense. 

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Punter Logan Cooke is averaging 45.7 yards per punt, has placed 14 kicks inside the 20 yard line.

Both teams will try to make the other's offense have to drive the length of the field.

I thought that the Steelers special teams had a near flawless effort in all phases of special teams against the Bengals until two mistakes (fake punt that went for a first down and led to a FG late & a short punt late). I also believe that special teams set the tone of the Bengals game just as they did in the Dallas game. Another week and another special teams challenge for the Steelers and coach Smith.

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Jaguars have been competitive despite their 1-8 record. They have been a play or two in most games from winning or turning the game around.

Offensive Keys to stopping the Jaguars defense:

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This would not be a bad week to get the rushing game cranked up again.

Key Jaguars Offensive players: former Brown Joe Schobert MLB, Josh Allen DE,  S Josh Jones, OLB Myles Jack, CJ Henderson CB

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1. Protect the football. The games have gotten out of hand at times due to turnovers and thus allowing the jaguars to dictate what the Steelers offense is forced to do. No secret here. It has been this way the last three games with the Jaguars defense setting the tone instead of the Steelers offense. Untimely fumbles and tipped passes have not bode well for the Steelers offense in the past. Don't let the Jaguars make you one dimensional in any aspect or it can be a long afternoon in Florida. 

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The Steelers offense and Big Ben have started slow, but typically heat up somewhere in the second quarter or second half of the game. 

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Probably not a good week for another game of street ball/pitch and catch. Games are not always about records, but matchups. Ben has been feast or famine against the Jaguars the last three games.

2. Resist the urge to play street football. The Steelers are loving Big Ben's arm heating up and he throwing for over 300 yards and 3 or 4 TD's. However, he has had several balls tipped and a few others that should and or could have been picked off. The Jaguars have caught Big Ben passes better than former Steelers WR Sammy Coates. 😉😲😂  Have a game plan and execute than plan with discipline and efficiency. I would be surprised if that game plan was to throw the ball 45 times. The Steeler offense is very dangerous when it is balanced! Get back to Ben being able to game manage more with an effective passing attack. The offense has gotten behind in early down in distance and has been forced to throw the ball. That has hurt in the last three meetings against the Jaguars in which Big Ben was picked off multiple times. By the Numbers 2018: 27 of 47 2 TD 3 INT's and 314 yards 65.4 QBR, Play-off game 2017 season 37 of 58 469 yards 5 TD's 1 INT 110.5 QBR, 2017 33 of 55 312 yards 0 TD, 5 INT, 37.8 QBR. I know it is a different year and different teams, but still something to think about (9 INT's to 7 TD's)😨

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Although built to protect Big Ben, the Steelers OL should be able to help get James Conner goin (North than is!). 

3. Steelers Ex Ground - - They haven't been Fed -Ex ground of late. Poor blocking, poor execution, and poor play selection have helped to keep the Steelers rushing attack from getting going. James Conner is most effective running downhill. Because of bad reads and poor blocking he has been going east-west and at times south. Go north young man! The ground game must utilize runs that play to Conner's strength going downhill. Perhaps it is time to take Benny Snell out of the doghouse as well. Give him a shot to get running. I love McFarland and his potential, but he doesn't seem to be able to get going.

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I believe that in order for the Steelers to do more than win a lot of games or the regular season, they will need to increase their rushing production. I don't think that they have to become a running team, but have to learn to run more effectively as they did in closing out games against the Giants, Denver, and Houston early.

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James Conner and the Steelers ground attack are a step to a step and a half away from being able to run more consistently. This will help open the offense up immensely.

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4. Get in the endzone before the second quarter or second half. The offense has got to start showing up before the kick-off (second half). 🤪 I jokingly say tell them that the game start time is two hours earlier. They should be heating up by the opening kick-off that way.  A balanced attack would help. The urge to try to complete 50 yard bombs at the start of every games should be resisted as well. Move the chains and try to get a balanced attack going. If you can run, the play action passing game will open up. Then you can go deep easier because teams will be concerned with run support.

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5. Get the famous Big Ben pump fake going again. We have seen a lot of tipped balls. Teams realize that the Steelers are throwing very quick routes. This is resulting in a lot of tipped balls. In Tennessee this resulted in some INT's. We have been very fortunate oon some others. Bengals DE Sam Hubbard almost performed a T-Sizzle Suggs (Former Raven Terrell Suggs knack for tipping and/or picking off Big Ben at the LOS). int last week. We are all creatures of habit. Sometimes we have to get out of the routine. The short passing game is definitely working. I prefer it to the long ball that we try to force every game. We just need to be a bit more less intentional with some of these throws. Throw a pump or two in there. Big Ben has had great success using his eyes and the pump-fake.

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The Jaguars have a history of keeping the Steelers from handling their business and finishing their business. In 2007 they ended it with a TD run late to knock the Steelers out of the play-offs in the Wildcard game at Heinz Field. In 2017, they forced turnovers and bullied the Steelers run defense on route to a wild 45-42 win in the Divisional play-off game. "No playing the Patriots for you!" Then after harrassing Big Ben for nearly three quarters, Ben connected with AB for a long TD and then went wild leading the Steelers back from a 16-0 deficit and winning 20-16 inly to lose the next three games, see AB implode and our team hasn't been right until this season. Can we avoid the keeping the Jaguar from having the last laugh at our expense.

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Prediction: Jacksonville has always matched up well with the Steelers dating back to the days of Tom Coughlin.  I remember Jaguar great LT Tony Boselli saying, "It is a rivalry when they say its a rivalry!" after betong the Steelers again one year. Well Mr. Boselli, "It's always a rivalry!" I am sure that Coach Marrone will try to physically match the strength and slugging of the Steelers on both sides of the ball. Some fights have to be won by intelligence and not just by punching or submitting your opponent. This one will go to the judges scorecard. Unfortunately no knock-out like they did the Browns and Bengals, or a Rocky Balboa like comeback against the Ravens and Cowboys, or a missed opportunity like Rocky I.  Steelers leave Jacksonville ahead on all three judges scorecards: 27 - 17.

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For my boxing enthusiast Ali is known as the greatest. He fought and beat the best of his era. However, Ken Norton gave him fits. Ali was my childhood hero and I would cry when he  or the Steelers lost (which fortunately was not too often) 😂😥😢. Studying the fights and being objective as an adult, I don't think Ali ever really beat Norton. Ali beat Forman, Frazier, Shavers, Lyle, Quarry, and Spinks to name a few, but had problems with this tough former Marine.  That exemplifies how the Jaguars have been a thorn in the Steelers side from the beginning. 

Edited by Steeler Hitman
Completed game thread
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can see the Pittsburgh doing this too. sucks there won't be a crazy steeler crowd for the playoffs

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2 hours ago, Steeler Hitman said:

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Keelan Cole had a big game against the Packers. He scored on a PR and a TD pass reception.

is this a new style of mask or a graphic? 

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is that the Covid Helmet? looks like he's about to fight the power Rangers with that thing on

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The Jags suck. That means it'll come down to the last possession. Hope Boswell is on his game.

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I mean in theory this game shouldn't be close. But the Jags played GB very tough. You just never know which Jags team is gonna show up. We gotta show up prepared for a dog fight and hopefully we just blow them out.

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7 hours ago, irish11 said:

The Jags suck. That means it'll come down to the last possession. Hope Boswell is on his game.

Irish coming back from the grave. Haven't seen you post for a while, welcome back.

I am trying to prepare myself for a Cowboys level game that just makes my blood boil. Jags went toe to toe with the Packers so its not much of a stretch to think this game is going to be a fight.

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1 hour ago, Neumatic said:

Irish coming back from the grave. Haven't seen you post for a while, welcome back.

I am trying to prepare myself for a Cowboys level game that just makes my blood boil. Jags went toe to toe with the Packers so its not much of a stretch to think this game is going to be a fight.

The Jaguars have traditionally played the Steelers well from their very first game upsetting the Steelers as an expansion team in 1995. I don't think this game will be as tight as Dallas nor do I think it will be as the dominant as Cincinnati. It will fall somewhere in between. Most of the games between the Jaguars and Steelers have been competitive or competitive for a while before mistakes change the tide/flow. I think the Steelers just have to play smart football and do not beat themselves (penalties and turnovers).  The offenses slow starts concerns me somewhat.  I believe this team is on a mission and will take care of business though. I don't think they are looking past the Jaguars or expect them to do anything, except play the Steelers tough. 

Edited by Steeler Hitman
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1 hour ago, August4th said:

now if the offense can just get the running game going....

Looking at defensive stats, and we are near the top in a few categories.  As this season goes on, I expect to rise in the ranks too, so at seasons end maybe we will revisit stats and see .  The ones I am most interested in are QBR, TO's , Sacks and points. 

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16 hours ago, jebrick said:

Mishew is out for the game.  We will go against Luton.

Didn't know that initially. Not sure about how I feel about this. Young back-ups can be hot or cold. I guess it is somewhat easier if the Steelers know who they are preparing to play. This is when they need to Steelers offense to step up early, and put the Jaguars behind the 8 ball so to speak. The defense and pass rush should be able to tee off and it also takes RB Robinson (the Jags most effective offensive weapon away).  

11 hours ago, irish11 said:

The Jags suck. That means it'll come down to the last possession. Hope Boswell is on his game.

😁 I guess everyone says, if they say it enough it may happen. For 9 weeks it hasn't. The Steelers will lose this week. Well, the Steelers will lose next week. Well, next week........😂

4 hours ago, wwhickok said:

I mean in theory this game shouldn't be close. But the Jags played GB very tough. You just never know which Jags team is gonna show up. We gotta show up prepared for a dog fight and hopefully we just blow them out.

They traditionally play the Steelers tough. However, I believe that they will be better prepared and will not have a Dallas like game. They should win. If they play to their ability, they will. They need to start playing complete games rounding midway into the third quarter of the season (Game #10). 

3 hours ago, Neumatic said:

Irish coming back from the grave. Haven't seen you post for a while, welcome back.

I am trying to prepare myself for a Cowboys level game that just makes my blood boil. Jags went toe to toe with the Packers so its not much of a stretch to think this game is going to be a fight.

We keep saying that and they keep winning, so keep saying it! 😂 I do hope the defense plays more like they did against the Bengals. The offense plays more like they did in the first half of the Titans game and the special teams more like they did for three and a half quarters against the Bengals. 

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I don't think they'll lose, just don't trust them to win, if you know what I mean. Road games like this often turn into closer affairs than we'd like. The Jags are hot garbage, but if the Steelers try to work the kinks out of the run game rather than just throwing the ball and putting the Jags in a hole that they can't dig out of, then it could be another long afternoon. Tomlin teams do weird crap sometimes.

Edited by irish11
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11 hours ago, irish11 said:

I don't think they'll lose, just don't trust them to win,

Hard to argue that point based on the past. I am hopeful that this is "a special season." I see more purpose and intention from these teams (as a whole) than I have in quite some time. No drama, no arguments about not getting the ball, bein run into the ground, you like this guy better than me, and all of the other nonsense. A great quote from Coach T puts this in perspective.  "The only thing perfect about the Steelers is their winning record (I.E. They haven't lost a game)."  Things seem very much different on the field and in the locker room despite some things that are not "perfect."

if you know what I mean.

Absolutely. No argument to what you said and how you feel. 

Road games like this often turn into closer affairs than we'd like. The Jags are hot garbage, but if the Steelers try to work the kinks out of the run game rather than just throwing the ball and putting the Jags in a hole that they can't dig out of, then it could be another long afternoon.

I don't think the Steelers should try to throw 40 or 50 times. I don't think that is "the best" strategy to win. This team looked unstoppable against the Titans the first few drives. What's even scarier is they overcame their own mistakes (fumbles and penalties).  They key was that they played balanced football. The ran well, the passed efficiently, they played defense and, they possessed the ball and the TOP. 

To me that is the winning formula to beating any team. You definitely want to do that against explosive offenses, but this game is about winning and then improving. They need to learn to run with a purpose better. The first half at Tennessee was nearly flawless Steelers football. The love of the pass is sexy, but isn't always effective. The long first half against the Bengals resulted in 12 points when the special teams and defense set the offense up to be up 21-0 or 17-0 at the least. I get that the Bengals tried to sell out to stopping the run due to the winds and Big Ben being off a week. Ben has thrown 7 TD's to 9 INTs in his last three games against Jacksonville. Be smart, be balanced, and get better and more consistent on offense. 

Tomlin teams do weird crap sometimes.

Very true. They are doing something weird now by winning some games that they would have lost in previous seasons with "so called" better talent at some positions. 

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